SPORTS DAY: Uefa reckons CR is just a very naughty boy
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Uefa probe Ronaldo over ‘cojones’ celebration
Uefa on Monday opened an investigation into Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal celebration after scoring a hat-trick in Juventus’s Champions League comeback win against Atletico Madrid last week. European football’s governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of “improper conduct” after he mimicked coach Diego Simeone’s crotch-grabbing “cojones” gesture in last Tuesday’s 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
Baxter analyses Libya
Bafana Bafana will have to lift their game to a significantly higher level when they take on unpredictable Libya in the return leg of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Sfax on Sunday. Bafana need only a draw from their final Group E game at the imposing 25 000-seater Stade Taïeb Mhiri to qualify for this tournament that will be hosted by Egypt later in the year. “Watching them play well in their other games‚ their successes were down the flanks. What they did do was they utilised some of our mistakes when we were getting a bit impatient and stretching ourselves,” said coach Stuart Baxter. “So there were lessons to be learned there.”
‘Sies, man!’ Benni berates defensive opponents
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has slammed teams that are placed in the top half of the Absa Premiership table and go into defensive mode from the first minute against his side. “City goalkeeper Peter [Leeuwenburgh] had one involvement in the whole game and that was in the first half‚” McCarthy said after his side’s 0-0 draw with sixth-placed Polokwane City. “And this is the team lying in sixth? Sies man! My philosophy is guns blazing‚ I am a hellraiser‚ I am going for it and I don’t respect no one. I’m not scared of no one. I tell my team to be brave.”
Ward-Prowse earns England call-up
Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse was drafted into England’s squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro as Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and John Stones pulled out due to injury on Monday. Ward-Prowse has just one senior international cap but is well known to England boss Gareth Southgate from their time together as manager and captain of England’s under-21s.
Hope for Bafana midfielders
Star midfielders Keagan Dolly and Bongani Zungu took another step towards proving their fitness for Bafana Bafana when they turned out for the reserve sides of their respective French Ligue 1 sides at the weekend. Zungu has not kicked a ball in Ligue 1 for Amiens since September 2 when he suffered a serious knee injury‚ while Dolly has played only 15 minutes of competitive football in the last six months after fracturing his leg while playing for Montpellier.
Chelsea lodge complaint over racist abuse
Chelsea said on Monday they have lodged a formal complaint with Uefa over alleged racist abuse aimed at one of their players during the closing stages of the 5-0 Europa League win away to Dynamo Kiev last week. Callum Hudson-Odoi was reportedly the victim of the abuse.
Crusaders to mull name change after massacre The Crusaders rugby team said they would consult with the Muslim community about a potential change of name after criticism following Friday’s massacre at two mosques in their home city of Christchurch. The club said “we understand the concerns that have been raised” after the mass shooting, which left 50 people dead. Distinctive writing on the attacker’s weaponry included the names of historical figures from the Crusades, the religious wars waged by European Christians against Muslims for control of the Holy Land in the Middle Ages.
Twerking high jumper banned
China has suspended a world silver-medallist high jumper, known for his flamboyant twerking celebrations, after he broke the country’s strict rules on commercial activities, state media said. The Chinese Athletic Association punished Zhang Guowei for attending two commercial events, in late February and early March, without getting permission, Xinhua news agency reported.
‘Afghanistan can beat any Test side’
Veteran allrounder Mohammad Nabi said on Monday Afghanistan has world-class spinners and is capable of beating any Test side in the world if their batting clicks. Nabi’s comments come after Afghanistan registered their first ever Test triumph following their seven-wicket win over Ireland in Dehradun. “It’s a very historic day for whole of Afghanistan. Especially for those guys who bring cricket from zero to the Test cricket,” Nabi told reporters. It was Afghanistan’s second Test outing after making their debut last year when they lost to India inside two days in Bangalore. Ireland have also played two five-day games.
Nice start for 2020 Tour de France
The 2020 Tour de France will get off to a hilly start with two stages around Nice, organisers said on Monday. The opening stage will be a 170km ride around the Azurean city, but is expected to be decided in a bunch sprint finish. It will serve as a warm-up for the 190km trek featuring three climbs with the overall contenders expected to already be at their best.
Thiem leapfrogs Federer
Dominic Thiem climbed to a career-best ranking of fourth on Monday after clinching his maiden ATP Masters title with his defeat of Roger Federer at Indian Wells. Austrian Thiem, who was also briefly ranked fourth in the world in late 2017, rose four places after winning at Indian Wells, beating Federer, who dropped one spot to fifth.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE